On May 19th the Wassebec Chapter will sponsor a free workshop to be held in the Sebec Room in Mayo Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft. From 9 to 12 the speaker will be Judy Reitze, former director of the Family History Center in Bangor. Judy will take us through using the Family Search website which can get confusing at times. From 1-4 Nina Brawn, a former columnist for the Piscataquis Observer will be with us to take us through using Ancestry.com. Snacks and lunch are included.If you aren’t already pre-registered for the workshop, please do that as soon as you can. We are limited in the number the room will legally hold and would like to have a good idea how many to expect by May 15h if possible.If you have questions, need directions, or want any other info, please get in touch with Nancy Battick 564-3576 or NormaJean Mahar 564-7363.Hope to see you at the workshop,
It is with great sadness I report the passing of Clyde G. Berry on 5 May 2018.
Clyde was an avid genealogist; he was a life member of the Maine Genealogical Society and has served as Treasurer and Director. He was a member and President of the Taconnett Falls Chapter of MGS and past President of the Penobscot Chapter of MGS. He was a life member and Past President of the Maine Old Cemetery Association as well as a member of the Board of Directors. He was a member of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society. He served as President of the Somerville Historical Society of Somerville, Maine and was involved with the publishing of the History of Patricktown/Somerville, Maine. He was a member of The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, descended from Labon P. Frost of Glenburn and John H. Johnson of Wellington, and also was a member and Past President of Maine Society Sons of the American Revolution, descended from Sargent Shaw, Richard Whitten and Daniel Tarbox. He was a member of the St. Andrew’s Society of Maine. He has also belonged to the Colson, Reynolds, McKusick and Hubbard family associations.
He is survived by a brother, Charles R. Berry of Glenburn, Maine, many cousins and friends.
During the MGS 2018 Spring Workshop, Paul Doucette received the 2018 Award of Excellence in Genealogical Service. MGS President Carol P. McCoy presented the award to Paul.Congratulations Paul!
Maine Genealogical Society
Award of Excellence
In Genealogical Service
In recognition of his enthusiasm, dedication,
and leadership in genealogy as a
Maine Genealogical Society director
and member of the Program Committee, as a Past
President of the Greater Portland Chapter MGS, and
as the inspiration for the Southern Maine Genealogy
When Joe Anderson suggested that our workshop this year should focus on writing, I was delighted. His comment, “after all that research, if you don’t write it up; rest assured your heirs won’t either!” struck home. I am the end of several lines of ancestors who were interested in family history and kept things. I needed a way to share my research and document the things that I had inherited. I also needed to find homes for documents and objects I couldn’t keep. I hoped they would stay in the family.
I took “write it up” broadly. In my presentation at the conference, I described four ways that I had shared what I knew and what I had.
The first was to write a genealogy article. I chose Gramma Withey’s table and the sampler inside that corrected the published Boynton genealogy. The resulting article was published in The Essex Genealogist.
Then I described a collection of photographs, postcards, and documents from Grampy’s Footlocker that depicted my Grandfather’s service with the Post Office during World War I. Because it was almost exactly 100 years after his departure for France, American Ancestors magazine though it would be timely for a fall 2017 issue.
When I emptied my mother’s house, I needed to find homes for ancestral furniture that I couldn’t use. The 1790’s canopy bed delighted my cousin’s granddaughter. It had belonged to her 5th great-grandparents. I decided that a children’s book describing the owners of the bed would help her—and her mother and grandmother—know its history. “Haven’s Bed” was the result.
Finally, my husband and I found thirteen monogrammed coin silver spoons in the cellar of my mother-in-law’s house. When we distributed them to descendants, I included a genealogy sketch that outlined the recipient’s descent from the original owner—with each one’s line highlighted. It was practice writing for me and perhaps sparked an interest in genealogy for those who received it.
And here is the fifth way…share what you know on the MGS Blog. It is less intimidating than articles in a prescribed format. A post can be short. It can be a description of how you solved a problem, or like me, tell a story about your family. Have you discovered a great library or historical society that not enough people know about? Tell us! My goal is to have a posting each week; for that to happen, we need lots of help. Give it a shot. Submit to email@example.com. Pictures are welcomed.
If you are reading this and want to keep up with the blog, subscribe to email notifications of new postings. Add your email address where it says “Subscribe to Blog Via Email.” Easy, and guaranteed it will be more interesting than most of your emails.
Wow—here’s a fun invitation. MGS is coming to Public Radio! Cindy Han, a producer of Maine Public’s Radio interactive show–Maine Calling–called to invite me to speak about genealogy on the radio this Wednesday. I’ll be a guest on Maine Callingon April 18th from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. I’ll be joined by the show host, Keith Shortall and DNA expert Nancy Mason in the Portland studio of Maine Public Radio.
Nancy and I will be talking about doing genealogy research, especially in Maine. We are excited to answer your questions or at least try to answer them! Listeners will be able to contact us with their questions in three ways. First, you can call in on 1-800-399-3566. Second, you can email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Third, you can tweet them @MaineCalling. You can listen to the show live on your local Maine Public Radio station from 1:00 to 2:00 or hear a rebroadcast at 8:00 p.m. Maine Calling will post this show on their Facebook page the morning of the show.
Many original town vital records are now available to view free on the FamilySearch.org website. One must sign in to be able to view the images. Once signed in, bring up the drop-down menu “search”, select “catalog” and enter the name of the town you are searching for. The following listing shows towns and counties in Maine, many of which have been filmed and are now available on their website. Some were filmed but are not yet available to view on their website while others were never filmed. Those not filmed or unavailable online may be for records after 1896 or may have been lost due to fire or other damage to the original records. In the column entitled “Records Available”, I have indicated the years which were filmed and whether available online or not. Some records have been published and that information, when known, has been indicated in the appropriate columns. The published records may be available in many larger libraries. If a town’s records have been published in their entirety, no information has been given regarding film availability.
On February 27th, MGS President Carol P. McCoy spoke at the Scarborough Public Library Genealogy Group on “Drowning of Sam Pollack – Myth and Reality – Investigating Family Stories.” Her presentation revolved around her great-grandfather’s death when her grandmother was an infant and her research to separate myth from reality in telling his story. Her talk fascinated the 34 attendees and reminded them of important genealogical research strategies such as remaining flexible about names, dates, and religion as well as remaining creative in approaching research.The Scarborough Public Library Genealogy Group began last October and is led by MGS Member, and assistant MGS webmaster, Don Taylor. The group meets regularly at 1 PM on the fourth Monday of the month at the Scarborough Public Library. Their Facebook group page is https://www.facebook.com/groups/314420085632060/ (or search for “Scarborough Public Library Genealogy Group”).
The Washington County Historical and Genealogical Society is a group dedicated to historical preservation and genealogical research in Washington County, Maine. By working together historical societies, genealogists, and researchers can pool their limited resources, collaborate on larger scale projects, and promote each other’s work.
Members receive a quarterly newsletter Weirs & Woods, which features free queries, information and the exchange of genealogical material, in addition to news from the affiliating Washington County historical societies. Membership in the WCHGS is open to anyone interested in learning more about their family genealogy and/or the history of Washington County and neighboring Charlotte County, New Brunswick. Officers include President, Betsy Fitzgerald of Bucks Harbor; Vice President, Celeste Sherman of Machiasport; Secretary, Valdine Atwood of Machias, and Treasurer, Carole Sprague of Marshfield.
Annual dues, $10 per calendar year: Send to Treasurer Carole Sprague, 301 Ridge Rd., Marshfield, ME 04654 – Check payable to WCH&GS: Regular meetings of WCHGS will be on a quarterly basis. ‘Extra meetings’ could be held during the year at the approval of the membership. Historical societies can affiliate themselves with WCHGS by donating to the Society.
Newsletter – Weirs & Woods –
Send Changes of Address to: Celeste Sherman at email@example.com.Send submissions for what is going on, Queries, Reunions, and stories on Washington County History or Genealogy to Valdine Atwood at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to 17 Colonial Way, Machias, ME 04654
Membership in the Washington County Historical & Genealogical Society is by the calendar year, January to December. For those joining later in the year, newsletters already published will be sent to you. The reason for this policy, we are a small organization so it is too difficult to keep track of mid-year renewals.
Elks Lodge, 397 Civic Center Drive, Augusta, ME 04330
What do I do with all the research I have accumulated? The simple answer is to write it up, publish it, and make your family proud.The Spring Workshop, led by the editor of The Maine Genealogist, Joseph C. Anderson, will cover the steps to turn your yellowing, dusty files into the printed word. Along the way, you will learn many of the tricks and tools that professional writers use to make the writing process simpler.The morning session will delve into a range of topics, including:
Defining the writing project
Assembling your research notes
Using writing as a research tool
Compiling a resource and style sheet
Exploring ways to make your writing come alive
Choosing a publisher to fit your project and budget
The afternoon session will focus on how to write for a genealogical periodical and include a presentation by MGS’s Membership Secretary, Deb Nowers, on how family heirlooms inspired her to write about her ancestors. Wrapping up, there will be a session covering illustrations, indexes and bibliographies, copyright considerations, and the printing process. If you have ever considered writing a blog, a family newsletter, or a book about that quirky ancestor, this workshop will give you the tools to make that happen. Because, after all that research, if you don’t write it up; rest assured, your heirs won’t either!
Joseph C. Anderson II is the editor of The Maine Genealogist, coeditor of The American Genealogist, consulting editor of Vermont Genealogy, and editor of MGS’s Maine Families in 1790 project. He has authored or edited eighteen books on various genealogical subjects and contributed dozens of articles to genealogical journals. In 2000 he was appointed a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists (FASG).
“Seeing the Light Through a Brick Wall” – Photo Credit: By counterclockwise via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
I had the opportunity to be a Genealogy “brick wall buster” at the MGS Genealogy Fair last July. What a great experience. They say, “In teaching others we teach ourselves.[i]” Likewise, helping others with their “brick walls” is an amazing process wherein the helper learns. One of my querists wanted to know, “How to find marriage records in Maine.”
As I thought about how I would approach the question I thought of several Wikis and asked the person if they used the Family Search wiki. She said, “No.” As I went through the day, I realized how few people knew about the two best genealogy wiki sites on the Internet. Everyone I spoke to during the day used Family Search and Ancestry.Com, but none of them ever used either of the two wikis; most didn’t even know they existed.
I prefer the Family Search wiki. http://familysearch.org/wiki. It seems always to provide the answer to my research questions. For example, a search for Maine Marriage Records brings me to a page that explained the differences in records before 1892, between 1892 and 1922, and since 1922 and described where to find them.
The Ancestry Wiki: http://ancestry.com/wiki/ is also a hidden gem – a fountain of information. Many people have subscriptions to Ancestry and many others access Ancestry through their local libraries, but I found few use the Ancestry Wiki. The results I received from searching the Ancestry Wiki for “Maine Marriage Records,” was not quite as clear as Family Search but did quickly lead me to a Maine Vital Records page, which also told me all I needed to know.
MGS has a series of books on vital records. See the MGS Vital Records Page for more information. Books currently in print include:
VITAL RECORDS OF ________, MAINE
ARROWSIC to 1939. Compiled by Deb Grana & Marlene A. Groves.
BRUNSWICK. Compiled by Joseph Crook Anderson II, CG, FASG.
CAMDEN/ROCKPORT. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves, CG.
CASTINE. Compiled by James H. Wick.
CUSHING to 1940. Compiled & ed. by Marlene A. Groves & Steven E. Sullivan.
DOVER-FOXCROFT. Compiled by John F. Battick, Ph.D. and Nancy Klimavicz Battick, M.A
DRESDEN. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
EDGECOMB. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
ETNA. by Arthur Gibbs Sylvester and Richard E. Spinney.
GOULDSBORO. Compiled by Wil Cote.
ISLESBORO. and ed. by Marlene Alma Hinkley Groves, CG
LISBON. by Marlene Alma Hinkley Groves.
MERCER. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
MINOT. Compiled by Joseph Crook Anderson II, CG, FASG.
MOUNT VERNON. by Sally Furber Nelson & Janet McCarthy Weymouth
NEWCASTLE. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
OLD TOWN. Ed. by Ruth Gray
ORLAND. Compiled by James H. Wick.
SMITHFIELD. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
SOUTH THOMASTON. Comp. and ed. by Marlene A. Groves, CG
THOMASTON 1837 TO 1846. by Steven Edward Sullivan.
THOMASTON. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves, CG.
WARREN. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves, CG.
WAYNE. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
WOOLWICH. Compiled by Marlene A. Groves.
Besides being available from the Maine Genealogical Society (MGS), they and many other out-of-print books in the series are available at libraries and historical societies. Check Minerva or for libraries where they may be available.
Thanks to Helen Shaw CG for all you’ve done as president of MGS for the past five years. You’ve worked tirelessly with the state legislature to ensure that we have access to vital records, and to ensure access to and preservation of cemeteries. Also, thank you to the Board of Directors for all your hard work. These excellent conferences could not occur without your dedication.
I’m excited about becoming MGS president. As a MGS Director and a past chapter president, I know how much work is involved. When I moved from NYC to Maine 26 years ago, I never dreamed I would be in this position. I love this state and I love genealogy. What a great opportunity for me.
I want to share with you five broad goals for MGS for the next couple of years.
(1) The Board would like to improve our communication with our chapters. I personally hope to visit each of our chapters to meet people, learn about your projects and goals, and find ways the Board and chapters can work together for everyone’s benefit.
(2) MGS intends to have atop-notch website. Thank you, Brian and Don, for all you’ve done to improve our website. Buying publications and registering for events online has been greatly simplified. Now let’s get genealogy and history resources throughout the state documented and publicized on the website.
(3) The Board wants to help build skills and confidence of MGS members so you feel more prepared to serve as an MGS officer, to write genealogy articles, and to transcribe vital records. Our Spring Conference on April 28th in Augusta will be on Writing Genealogy and will feature our own Publications Director, Joseph Crook Anderson II.
(4) MGS would like to strengthen our partnerships with other organizations such as the Maine Historical Society, Maine State Library, and Maine State Archives. We already work well together and we can find ways to do even more together.
(5) We’d like to encourage more member involvement. To that end, I’d like to form a guidance committee with MGS members from throughout the state and from other geographic areas to get your ideas on how MGS can serve everyone.
In June we added 2 new items to our Members Only content area.MGS Members in good standing can access the Members Only section of the website as one of the many benefits of joining our society. In June we created a new section of Town Reports and added the first 2 town reports of what we expect to be many to the collection:
Town reports are an often overlooked resource for genealogists. Many beginner (and some advanced) researchers don’t understand the value of these resources. Many town reports include vital statistics for the town, offering births, deaths and marriages for the given year. This can be particularly helpful for the all too often “All our records were destroyed in a fire years ago” story genealogists are faced with. Often charity and support for residents is also called out as is information pertaining to schools, including teachers’ salaries. Expenditures of the town sometimes include to whom payments were made. For example, in the Eustis Town report mentioned above includes a section of bills of the town. As part of this section we learn of $135 bill for “Insane Hospital for support of Susannah Moody, Geo. Ricker, R.B. Green and O. White”
What information is waiting to be found in the town reports where your ancestors lived?